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Victim of Prior Griffin Attack: "I Thought I Was Going to Die That Night"

Stanley Griffin nearly killed another woman in her home, told a neighbor he wanted to slit his ex-girlfriend's throat in front of her kids, and has bullied a capital murder suspect in jail, all according to testimony Thursday in the punishment phase of his own murder trial.

A previous assault victim of Griffin and the son that may have saved her life recounted the 1990 attack Thursday morning.

An emotional Jodie Piacente recalled the May 1990 incident in Webster, Texas. Griffin, a friend of Piacente's on-and-off-again boyfriend at the time, broke through a window in her home, came at her with a knife and tried to choke her.

"And then I just know that we struggled," she told the jury. "I was trying to get the knife out of his hand. We ended up on the floor, and he was on top of me with my face down.

"I thought for sure I was going to die that night."

Piacente's son, Chris, testified to jumping on Griffin's back and punching him to help free his mother. Chris was five years old at the time.

Griffin grabbed a second knife, but Jodie Piacente left through a window and was able to get help. Her children were not injured, and Griffin left after she escaped.

The now-47-year-old was sent to prison for the Piacente attack. Now, he faces either life in prison without parole or the death penalty for the 2010 murder of Jennifer Hailey in College Station.

Wednesday, Griffin was convicted of capital murder. The Brazos County jury took less than 65 minutes.

- Live Courtroom Updates
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Griffin also assaulted Hailey's son. The then-nine-year-old was stabbed in the face and neck by Griffin with a garden trowel.

Piacente described Griffin as "quiet, sort of methodical" and "mysterious."

"It was a little strange the way he behaved, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it," she added.

Griffin was the "pot guy" in the area, Piacente said. During the 1990 attack, she said he smelled of alcohol and some sort of drug.

Thursday afternoon, a neighbor of Griffin's testified he told her he had wanted to kill his ex by tying her up and cutting her throat in front of her children.

""I told him he needed to get some help," Brandy Davidson told the jury. "Maybe he should check into the hospital. They could help him."

Davidson ended that conversation, which took place just weeks before Griffin killed Hailey, a former co-worker of his ex-girlfriend. Davidson did not tell anyone of her talk with Griffin, something she said she regretted after finding out about Hailey's murder.

The son of that Griffin ex-girlfriend described Griffin as argumentative and violent towards him and his mother, including one instance he was choked. His mother testified she didn't know her son was assaulted until after she ended the relationship.

Another ex-girlfriend from six years earlier testified that Griffin put her daughter's hands up to open flames and a hot oven as punishment.

At the end of the day, a string of Brazos County Sheriff's Office correctional officers testified that Griffin was verbally abusive, lobbed threats at them and resisted them ever since he was jailed the day of the Hailey murder.

In one of the more bizarre moments, one deputy recalled seeing Griffin, 47, bully another capital murder suspect, 19-year-old Gabriel Hall, into leaving his lunch for Griffin to eat during feeding time.

Once the state has finished calling its witnesses, the defense will call its own, hoping to persuade the jury of ten women and two men to spare Griffin's life.

There are only two punishment options for capital murder: the death penalty or life in prison without possibility of parole.

If jurors unanimously determine Griffin is a future danger to others and there aren't mitigating circumstances like mental retardation, he will be sent to death row.


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